Sunday, June 8, 2008

PBS Nova - Origins [Complete 4 Episodes]

Origins is a spectacular four-part miniseries, first presented on PBS’s Nova, about the beginnings of the universe, our solar system, life on Earth, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life on other planets. It is not a stretch to say that Origins, among all television documentaries about the evolving cosmos, offers the most breathtaking dramatic visual representation of Earth’s tumultuous history, and the clearest, step-by-step explanation of the formation of planets, the development of water and living organisms, and the forces that shape other parts of our galaxy and beyond. Hosted by the engaging Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, Origins consists of four one-hour episodes. The first focuses on the initial billion years of Earth history, research into the emergence of water (which appeared surprisingly early, as it turns out, and could have been delivered by comets) and the birth of the moon. The second show concerns hardy, single-cell organisms on Earth developing, in some quite inhospitable places, into complex life forms, while the third covers the Big Bang and the final installment looks at theories involving extraterrestrial life. If the topics sound familiar, their presentation is always fresh, dynamic, and thoroughly accessible. Watching Origins would be a great, context-providing preface to the study of a number of niche subjects, including geology, physics, biology, and much else. An invaluable production. –Tom Keogh

CD1 = Origins: Earth is Born
CD2 = Origins: How Life Began
CD3 = Origins: Where are the Aliens?
CD4 = Origins: Back to the Beginning


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